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Admission

Our highly personalized treatment at the Austen Riggs Center starts with our carefully considered, individualized approach to patient admission.

Sign for Austen Riggs Center administration and medical offices at 25 Main Street in Stockbridge, Massachusetts
At Riggs, our admission procedures are deliberate for good reason: We need to get to know each other before you can decide if Riggs is right for you, and before we can assess whether voluntary treatment in our open setting is the best path forward for you. From the first phone call or web inquiry through the face-to-face admissions consultation, our patient admission process can take time.

We typically admit one to two patients a week and maintain an active waiting list. Wait time is variable—contact Admissions for current status.
View our Admission Brochure or download it below:

Steps in Our Admission Process

Our step-by-step admission assessment helps ensure you are likely to benefit from long-term residential treatment in our open setting. We also need to discuss the required commitment in time and money. Then we can confidently move on to the in-person admission consultation, which, according to our year-over-year data, results in admission for approximately 90 percent of those seen for consultation.

Gather Information

Hearing from you directly is a key first step. We also gather relevant clinical and medical information necessary to determine if Riggs is a good fit for you.

Discuss the Riggs Difference

We explore the implications of our voluntary, open setting, where each patient develops an alliance with clinical staff and takes the lead in their own treatment.

Consider the Cost

We review with you (and anyone else responsible for payment) our fee structure, payment policies, health insurance coverage, and if applicable, need-based fee reduction process.

Admission Consultation

After answering your questions along the way, we arrange the in-person admission consultation, which about 90 percent of the time results in an offer to be admitted.

Campus Tour

Join us on a tour of the Austen Riggs Center. You’ll see patient residences along with treatment and community spaces on our one-of-a-kind open setting campus located on Main Street in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Financing Your Stay

How much does therapy and residential treatment cost at Riggs? There is no single answer. Our all-inclusive fees vary according to the program, length of stay, and intensiveness of services provided. We will always communicate with you honestly, openly, and clearly about financing your stay at Riggs.

What to Bring?

Preparing for long-term residential treatment naturally raises questions about what Riggs supplies and what you should bring. You’ll find essentials here such as linens and towels, toilet tissue, bar soap, and more. Some former patients have compiled a helpful list of suggested items you may wish to bring.

Taking the First Step

Asking for help is hard. If you’re considering admission to Riggs for voluntary therapy in our immersive residential program, help is just a phone call away. Feel free to contact our Admissions team members, who can talk with you about any questions or concerns you might have, or just provide a more in-depth and personalized sense of what we’re all about.

Speak With Admissions

If you’re ready to take the first step toward recovery at Riggs, please contact us.

Patient Rights Policy & Privacy Practices
Here you will find information regarding our Patient Rights Policy and Privacy Practices.
Patient Rights Policy
It is the policy of the Austen Riggs Center (ARC, the Center) to maintain and protect the patient’s fundamental human, civil, constitutional, and statutory rights, in accordance with Federal and State laws. In as much as the Center is an open, non-restrictive treatment environment, the civil rights of patients are the same as those of any citizen of the United States. There are no privileges to earn and there is no forfeiture of freedom: patients are not coerced to behave in any particular way nor are they compelled to participate in any part of the treatment program.
Each patient admitted to the Austen Riggs Center shall, subject to giving informed consent, receive treatment that is suited to the person’s needs, which shall be delivered skillfully, safely, and humanely with full respect for dignity and personal integrity.
The protection and enhancement of human rights is a common objective shared by all ARC staff, with a special responsibility of the Human Rights Officer to provide the leadership to safeguard human rights on a day-to-day basis. The term “human rights” refers to the values and principles intended to give full respect to the dignity and worth of each individual patient.
The Austen Riggs Center is a unique treatment setting because of its emphasis on intensive individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy in a therapeutic community, and its fully open setting. Our orientation and philosophy are based on working collaboratively with individuals whom we consider to be responsible for their own lives and safety in spite of their serious psychiatric disturbances. We do not coerce patients to behave in a particular way and do not compel participation in any part of the treatment program. We view it as the patient’s responsibility to discover his/her/their own motivation. In an open setting, the benefits of obtaining treatment while maintaining one’s freedom, integrity, and autonomy must constantly be weighed against the risks and responsibilities.
While the human rights of a patient at the Center are the same as those of any citizen of the United States, there are particular responsibilities and risks assumed by patients and their families when admission to the Center is accepted. Except in brief, emergency situations, we are not able to put a patient on suicidal precautions, nor do we confine the patient to a seclusion room, or even to the grounds of the hospital. We do not use restraints and do not medicate anyone against their will. Ultimately the patient is responsible for maintaining behavior in keeping with the demands of an open hospital. If, during the course of treatment, a patient enters a period of unacceptably high suicidal or homicidal risk or significant substance use, temporary or permanent transfer to a closed setting may be appropriate in order to protect the patient. Patients and their families have a responsibility to inform the Center of concerns they have about a patient’s safety.
The Austen Riggs Center Patient Rights Policy protects patients’ fundamental human, civil, constitutional, and statutory rights in accordance with Federal and State Laws, and JCAHO standards. The Center ensures the individual's right to quality care, access to the full range of clinical services offered by the Center regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age or disability, the right to refuse treatment, opportunities to participate in treatment planning and care decisions including assessment and management of pain and access to a mechanism to address complaints about treatment and appeal decisions to the Department of Mental Health. The Center
recognizes the “Six Fundamental Rights of Persons Receiving Services at Inpatient Mental Health Facilities in Massachusetts” (as prepared by the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee, 2015) Copies of these Six Fundamental Rights are posted in all patient residences and in the Medical Office Building and are available upon request.
The Austen Riggs Center also abides by Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) regulations 104 CMR 27.13: Human Rights and 104 CMR 28.03 Legal and Human Rights. These documents are attached to this policy, posted in the Admissions Office, the Medical Office Building, at all facility residences, on the Austen Riggs website and are also available upon request. (Note that none of the provisions of these regulations that apply to minors or individuals who have been adjudicated incompetent are applicable here as the Center does not accept such patients for treatment.)
At the time of admission, the patient and any family members who accompany the patient will be provided with copies of the Center’s “Consent to Treatment and Patient’s Rights” and “Notice of Privacy Practices,” which outlines the right to privacy and protection from disclosure of protected health information, full access to mail, telephone and visitors, and the right to refuse such communication.
Written copies of the Center’s “Patient Rights and Procedure for Filing a Complaint” are prominently displayed at the Inn in the Nurses Station, in the Medical Office Building, on the ARC website, and at all facility residences.
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Filing a Complaint: You have right to file a complaint if you believe that your care or treatment is inhumane, dangerous or illegal. The Human Rights Officers at the Austen Riggs Center or other staff can explain the process and help you to file a complaint. Complaint forms are available at the Reception Desk at the MOB, at the Nurses Station in the Inn, and in the offices of the Human Rights Officers.
Appeals: Decisions regarding formal complaints can be appealed beyond the Austen Riggs Center to the Department of Mental Health.
Additional information about your rights or how to obtain legal assistance may be obtained from the Austen Riggs Center Patient Handbook, from your Human Rights Officers, or from other staff.
Reporting a safety concern: To report any safety concern, please contact: Nicole May at 413.931.5310 on weekdays.
On weekends, holidays or after hours, contact: Cheryl Puntil at 413.931.5277. Please contact the available Charge Nurse for direct communication with Cheryl Puntil after hours.
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Privacy Practices

Start the Admission Process

From first contact to admission consultation, let’s find out if we’re a good fit.